Intervention of Mons. Basile Georges CASMOUSSA, Archbishop of Mossul of the Syrians
In our Middle Eastern countries, we are small minorities, ravaged considerably by
the following factors: 1. Galloping emigration, where Christians lose more and
more their faith in their own historical countries. 2. The waves of terrorism inspired
by religious ideologies, Islamic or totalitarian, denying even the principle of equality,
to benefit a fundamental negation which crushes minorities, among which are Christians,
the most vulnerable. 3. The alarming decrease of births among Christians, faced
with an ever growing natality among Muslims.
4. The unjust accusation against
Christians of being troops loaned or led by and for the so-called Christian West,
and thus considered as a parasite in the Nation. Present and active here well before
Islam, the feel undesired in their own home, which becomes more and more a “Dar el-Islam”.
Even the West is no longer gentle, the term “Christian” only evokes the religious
dimension there. Almost always the social aspect of the human group, its fundamental
rights being damaged, in its cultural identity, in its belongings, even in its existence,
because of its religion. Here is the Eastern Christian in Islam countries condemned
be it to disappear or to go into exile. What is happening in Iraq today makes us think
back to what happened in Turkey during the First World War. It is alarming! 5.
The fractioned state of Middle Eastern Christian Communities: institutional ecclesial
and identity divisions of the local churches fierce about their autonomy, other times
on doctrinal and territorial or linguistic bases, artificially erected into ethno-political
nationalism (today’s Iraq is an example), referring however to the same patristic
and linguistic energy, having undergone the same historic fate of “dhimitude”, the
future being shaded for all by the same symptoms of dis-aggregation, due to external
as well as internal factors. These are the true challenges, with terrible consequences,
that the Middle Eastern Christians face!